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The Spiritual Practices of the Ninja: Mastering the Four Gates to Freedom Paperback – March 13, 2006


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Frequently Bought Together

The Spiritual Practices of the Ninja: Mastering the Four Gates to Freedom + Shoninki: The Secret Teachings of the Ninja: The 17th-Century Manual on the Art of Concealment + True Path of the Ninja: The Definitive Translation of the Shoninki
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Destiny Books (March 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594771073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594771071
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Ross Heaven is a spiritual warrior. If you apply the lessons of this book to your life, you will find the freedom and happiness you seek.” (Howard G. Charing, Director of the Eagle’s Wing Centre for Contemporary Shamanism)

"Ross Heaven is the Joseph Campbell of our times. He brings street cool to spirituality." (J. L. Shreeve, author and journalist for The Independent, The Guardian, The Financial Times, and Max)

"Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell meet the Ninja warrior traditions! This is spirituality with attitude--a wide-ranging, sharp psychological analysis of what it really takes to create happiness and freedom for ourselves. This book tells the truth, and because it’s honest, it will help you find your path to power." (Tania Ahsan, editor of Prediction Magazine)

"Reading this book you can discover the qualities of a true warrior, truthfully presented." (Dave Courtney, OBE, author of Stop the Ride, I Want to Get Off)

"I just want to thank you for all your help in getting me to a point where I can accept my true self. I feel so different and see differently. This is where it begins for me!" (Jenny Rayner, publisher of Spiritual Lifestyles Magazine)

"You have been drawn to this book because life has chosen this moment to reveal something of itself to you. This is an extraordinary book. All that is required of you is your commitment and willingness to become all that you are. You are right on time to read what you are about to read." (Dr. Mark Atkinson, author and complementary health expert for GMTV (Good Morning Television) and Now)

"The reader is in for some interesting surprises when reading this book!" (Lee Prosser, Ghostvillage.com, April 2006)

". . . makes common-sense reading as we find new ways to deal with the challenges and fears that we are all prone to, and so regain our power and energy." (Hoop, Issue 52, 2006)

". . . offers a tight focus on mental and emotional self-improvement that can reap benefits in all walks of life." (The Bookwatch, Oct 2006)

". . . recommended reading for those who are actively engaged in therapy and courses aiming towards disclosing the fears created by modern living." (The Cauldrom Brasil, Feb 2007)

"The Spiritual Practices of the Ninja is in the contemporary genre of work that seeks to explore spiritual truth as it developed in local traditions around the world and in the face of the practical challenges of uncertainty and survival." (New Dawn Magazine, Issue 115, Jul/Aug 2009)

From the Back Cover

MARTIAL ARTS / SPIRITUALITY

“Ross Heaven is a spiritual warrior. If you apply the lessons of this book to your life, you will find the freedom and happiness you seek.”
--Howard G. Charing, Director of the Eagle’s Wing Centre for Contemporary Shamanism

The Ninja are a mysterious warrior elite said to be so spiritually advanced they know the mind and will of God. Regarded as masters of invisibility and “warriors of the shadow self,” their legendary skills include the ability to command the elements and transform themselves into Fire, Water, Air, Earth, and Void--the nothingness from which all things arise. In this book Ross Heaven reveals the training exercises and mental discipline used by the Ninja to develop these extraordinary physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual skills.

Central to Ninja philosophy is the understanding that there is no higher power than the actualized human being. The Ninja believe there are four gates to freedom and to pass through them we must overcome four initiatory ordeals. Succeeding at these enables us to combat fear, find true power, clarify our vision, and overcome the soul fatigue that is at the root of our personal and social problems in order to embrace our inner positive energies (kuji-kuri) and realize our talents.

Ross Heaven guides us through these four gateways with exercises and initiations that utilize the archetypal energy of the Lover, Seeker, Magus, Soul Warrior, and Mystic and their shadow manifestations that may be causing problems in our lives. We learn how to break the destructive habits of the past and create a bushido, a personal code to live by. Without initiation, we cannot access and channel our energies; they remain uncontrolled or even work against us. Ross Heaven provides the key that allows us to turn these elemental forces into our allies.

ROSS HEAVEN is a therapist and workshop leader in personal development and healing whose books include Vodou Shaman, Darkness Visible, Spirit in the City, and The Journey to You. He lives in England and teaches shamanic workshops internationally.

More About the Author

www.thefourgates.org

Ross Heaven was described by Guardian newspaper journalist James Shreeve as "the Joseph Campbell of our times". The director of The Four Gates Foundation for spiritual and shamanic wisdom, Ross is a psychologist, presenter, and the author of more than 10 books on shamanism, plant medicines, and the healing traditions, including The Hummingbird's Journey to God (the first book to be written about shamanic healing with the plant teacher San Pedro), Plant Spirit Shamanism (about ayahuasca and San Pedro healing and the therapeutic uses of other plants), Plant Spirit Wisdom (about healing traditions and practices with native European plants), and The Sin Eater's Last Confessions (about the folk-healing practices of Wales).

As well as his work with native shamanism, Ross has visited Peru since the 1990's to work with the ayahuasceros and curanderos of the Amazon and Andes, and with ayahuasca and San Pedro, the two legendary sacraments and teacher plants used by the shamans of these regions to heal the mind, body, and soul, and to unlock new levels of expanded consciousness.

He now offers the same opportunity for others, with retreat programmes and journeys to Peru where participants can work with indigenous healers and explore and expand their awareness through shamanic encounters with visionary plants.

He has also worked with the shamans and plant healing traditions of Haiti and his experiences in this area are recorded in his book Vodou Shaman, of which Publisher's Weekly said "This stands out as one of the most articulate and well-intentioned guidebooks available".

In his workshops, Ross draws from his cross-cultural knowledge of shamanism and its healing possibilities for creating new ways to understand ourselves, our connections to the Earth, and the journeys we are on.

For more information about Ross and his work, visit The Four Gates website at:
www.thefourgates.org or email him at ross@thefourgates.org and receive regular updates from the author about his workshops and books.

Customer Reviews

Many of the ninja practitioners in japan cannot even prove their lineage.
John Dandell
At the very least, it will help one understand where their way of thinking, feeling, and habits come from.
Ryan Foust
The practices that are in here will help you be a more aware and powerful person.
Joshua N. Petersen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By BookMonki on March 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'd read one of Heavens previous shamanic books too, and became curious about this one due to not being aware of his connections to ninjutsu.

Heaven is a low level student of To-Shin Do in the UK, Hayes break away organisation from the Bujinkan. It is interesting to note, that given the title, with 'Ninja' in such big letters, Carlos Castenada is quoted more times than Hayes, who is also quoted more times than Hatsumi sensei, strange really but it just about sums up the actual content of the book, where the info has come from and how much it actually ties in with the teachings of Takamatsu sensei through Hatsumi sensei. The title should be changed it is completely mis-leading. It is at best only loosely 'inspired' by Ninjutsu and is more in line with other neo-shamanic/psychology self help rubbish.

This book is simply crap if you are after anything concerning Ninjutsu, the only relevant point Heavens makes is regarding the connection of the 'spiritual practises' to the prowess of the ninja, rather than just their physical skills, which is a point many over look though Hayes always seemed to run too far with it in the other direction. This book is nothing but Heavens re-hashed neo-shamanic fluff. I wouldn't even go near it if you are into shamanism, shamanism is not about self help or self empowerment, read something genuine instead.

I gave it one star because there is no option for no stars which is what it deserves
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ken the Shinobi on October 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
Almost everything in this book is just rehashed new age stuff. The author does not have experience in Japanese and only a very tenuous link to ninjutsu and it shows. If you have read a few books on shamanism and such, you will know just about everything in this book. If you want to learn that sort of thing, it would be better to go to the original sources rather than a watered- down version.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Dandell on August 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this book takes concepts from ninjutsu and pastes it onto the author's system for spirituality. There are some ideas that I have no problem with and sometimes are insightful. There is some ninja-lore but its mostly been expanded to fit new age stuff that is more american style. Its not a ninja reference book. If you are seriously interested in ninja you probably have more problems than the book can cure. Many of the ninja practitioners in japan cannot even prove their lineage. This book obviously has none either. I'm not particularly a fan of spirituality or ninja anymore, but I was. The book isn't that great. Darkness Visible is a better book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wilhelm M on March 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you have never meditated or focused on your breath, then I suggest getting versed in Zen before you read this book. The book leads you by the hand in meditative exercises just like any other mindfulness/imagery instructional book should. If you take these exercises seriously, a lot of unconscious mechanisms will surface which may be hard to deal with. The exercises force you to confront a lot of things, but mainly fear.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Martial Arts Practicioner on November 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
Read this book and the author has NO first hand knowledge of Ninpo nor any of the Takamatsu-den arts. He is cutting and pasting information easily obtainable from MANY NON-Ninpo sources and trying to fit them into what he believes is "Ninja". Not only that, his premise of his writings is the "spiritual" practices of the "ninja", is completely and totally incorrect as he never touches on the prevalent spiritual and/or religious aspects of the Iga region, let alone Japan as a whole over the time period when the ninja clans played a part in Japanese history. If I could give this book less than a 1 star, even negative I would. It is neither worth the paper it is printed on nor does it provide ANY useful information not otherwise found in more reputable sources.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cheree Motomura on July 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some of the book was very interesting especially the history of the Ninja,
some of it belonged more in the New age section.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By frostgirl on December 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a book I wanted to read very much, I first saw it in the Inner Traditions catalogue. It was a holiday gift and I couldn't wait to start reading it. I began with high hopes but quickly realized it was just Mr. Heaven's ideas, using ninpo as his springboard. It is not really about ninpo. One good thing about a book like this is that it makes one search more for the true information. Shoninki The Secret Teachings of the Ninja is definitely the better book, by Master Natori Masazumi.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jacques on April 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
A remarkable book - I speak as a professor of anthropology in Italy - which combines a distillation of mythic wisdom with highly practical techniques that enables any reader to simply apply this wisdom to excellent effect. One reviewer describes this book as Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung in concert with Ninja spiritual wisdom, and I would say that is very fair. I am a fan of Mr Heaven's work and regard him as a true pioneer and great modern philosopher and thinker so I admit to bias, but still I cannot recommend this work highly enough. Excellent.
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